Army Staff Sergeant Sophia Denmark — Not Forgotten

It happened in an instant.

One moment, Staff Sergeant Sophia (Mitchell) Denmark was walking on the base in Iraq where she was stationed in 2007. The next, warning sirens wailed throughout the camp, the lights went dark, and enemy fire rained from the sky. Sophia was caught in the middle of a mortar attack, causing her to suffer life-threatening injuries which would forever change her life.

Seven years before, Sophia joined the Army after witnessing the courageous spirit of her sister, a Soldier who served during Desert Storm.

“I was so proud of her for fighting for our country that I wanted to do the same,” said Sophia. “So I followed in her footsteps.”

And in 2007, as Sophia’s life hung in the balance after being critically wounded in the mortar attack, another member of her family provided the strength she needed to press on — her daughter, waiting for her safe return home.

Before being rescued by her company, Sophia “was hit from head to toe with shrapnel and fell to the ground. Once in the ambulance, I tried my hardest to stay awake. My body crashed two times enroute to the hospital … I thought with every fiber in my body that I had to make it home to my oldest daughter.”

Sophia was stabilized by medics before being medevaced to receive lifesaving treatment, which included the amputation of Sophia’s leg. To honor her heroic sacrifice in combat, Sophia was later awarded the Purple Heart. During Sophia’s darkest moments of pain and suffering, thoughts of her loving family helped her most difficult battles through injury and recovery.

“Not only did I make it back to my daughter, but I was blessed with two more kids,” said Sophia. “My kids are my biggest reason for not giving up on myself so I will keep pushing forward … Now I get to enjoy every moment with my Littles.”

In 2016, Sophia found herself in dire need of financial assistance when she suffered loss of income as she underwent an additional surgery because of her amputation. The Fund stepped in and has not left her side since, providing critical funding for home grants to make certain all areas of her house are accessible and comfortable, as well as auto grants to ensure she can safely drive as an amputee. Because of The Fund’s support, Sophia has reached new levels of independence, a gift only made possible by our donors’ heartfelt commitment to providing lasting, all-encompassing care to those who preserve our freedom.

“Reaching out to The Fund was the best decision,” she said. “My case manager, Lilly, always checks on me. Sometimes it’s in the moment I feel most alone. The Fund cares for heroes beyond one or two years after leaving the military. The Fund has helped me become more social and feel like I belong again. I look forward to attending their events, so I can meet new heroes, chat with the staff, and just enjoy being in a no judgment zone … The Fund means not forgotten.”

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